Education Opportunity Network

Education Opportunity Network -

1/14/2016 – How Much De We Hate Our Children?

THIS WEEK: Fixing Urban Schools … Computers Widen Achievement Gap … Closing Schools Hurts Students … College Degree Gap Grows … Why We Need Unions

TOP STORY

How Much De We Hate Our Children?

By Jeff Bryant

“Conversations with Americans still elicit lots of sentiment for the well-being of kids. But it’s increasingly harder to see that sentiment reflected in policy … Big numbers don’t tell the whole story … Anecdotal evidence of our, not just neglect, but abject militancy toward the needs of children is even more disturbing. But there are recent examples of adults taking actions to change policies and practices to address the needs of children, and those examples are growing and spreading.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

How To Fix the Country’s Failing Schools. And How Not To.

The New York Times

Public policy professor David Kirp writes, “A quarter-century ago, Newark and nearby Union City epitomized the failure of American urban school systems … Today Union City, which opted for homegrown gradualism, is regarded as a poster child for good urban education. Newark, despite huge infusions of money and outside talent, has struggled … Newark’s big mistake was not so much that the school officials embraced one solution or another but that they placed their faith in the idea of disruptive change and charismatic leaders. Union City adopted the opposite approach, embracing the idea of gradual change and working within existing structure.”
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Using Computers Widens The Achievement Gap In Writing, A Federal Study Finds

The Hechinger Report

“Last year, more than half of U.S. states gave computer-based writing tests to children as young as third-graders … The majority used a computer … High-performing students did substantially better on the computer than with pencil and paper. But the opposite was true for average and low-performing students. They crafted better sentences using pencil and paper than they did using the computer. Low-income and black and Hispanic students tended to be in this latter category … [Children] do better writing by hand if they’re less experienced [with computers]. And if they’re more experienced, then there may actually be an advantage toward writing on the computer.”
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Students Attending Closing Schools Graduated With Less Rigorous Diplomas

Education Week

“What happens to the students who are still attending low-performing high schools while those schools are being phased out? A new look at such students … found that those students … were less likely to graduate college-ready when compared to peers at demographically similar low-performing schools that had not been targeted for closure. In addition, students … were less likely to graduate on time when compared to students at low-performing schools that were not scheduled to close … School closures and their impacts on students are fraught with controversy as schools officials and policymakers continue to wrestle with the best ways to turn around low-performing schools.”
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College Degree Gap Grows Wider Between Whites, Blacks And Latinos

The Hechinger Report

“The racial gap in who’s graduating from college has widened since 2007 … Companies that have benefited from the loan program range from debt servicer While more blacks and Latinos are graduating from college now, the percentage of whites graduating has grown even faster … At the same time, states have cut the funding they provide to public colleges, per student, by 21% since the economic collapse in 2008, and have raised tuition by 28%. As public colleges become more costly, it’s harder for low-income students to finish a degree. In many states, those students are disproportionately black and Latino … The widely accepted prediction is that 65% of jobs by 2020 will require education beyond high school. So state economies and the wellbeing of states’ residents could suffer if these trends continue.”
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Strong Unions, Strong Democracy

The New York Times

Richard Kahlenberg of the Century Foundation writes, “In Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association … the ruling bloc of conservative justices appears ready to render a decision later this year that would significantly weaken public sector labor unions. By stripping these unions of key financial resources – their fair share of fees provided by nonmembers – the court would upend a longstanding precedent. A decision in favor of the plaintiff would effectively slam the door on an era in which some conservatives joined liberals in recognizing that vibrant unions help make our democracy work. This is radicalism, not conservatism … Because today’s conservatives are typically hostile to unions, it’s easy to forget that they were not always opposed to unionism or fair share fees … Teachers unions are strong champions of American public schooling, which undergirds our democracy … Unions aren’t faultless, but they are a crucial source of stability and strength for our democracy.”
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Category: EON Newsletters

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